Summary of the Corporate Business Plan 2020–21

From: Canada Revenue Agency

With perspectives to 2022–23

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For copyright information, please visit canada.ca

ISSN 2563-3406

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Canada Revenue Agency

Mission

To administer tax, benefits, and related programs and ensure compliance on behalf of governments across Canada, thereby contributing to the ongoing economic and social well-being of Canadians.

Vision

Trusted, fair and helpful by putting people first.

Values

Integrity: We establish and preserve trust with all stakeholders by applying the law fairly and upholding our standards.

Professionalism: We are knowledgeable, accurate, conscientious, innovative, and service-oriented.

Respect: We interact with people in a way that makes them feel heard and valued. We listen and respond judiciously.

Collaboration: We recognize and act on opportunities to work together to deliver the Agency's mandate. We consult and share ideas, fostering innovation and improving the service experience, both internally and externally.

Message from the Minister

I am honoured to have been re-appointed Minister of National Revenue by the Prime Minister, and I look forward to continuing to implement a client-based service model that is fair and user friendly.

The CRA has an ambitious agenda, which will be realized by enabling innovation, as well as by empowering and maintaining a thriving, collaborative workforce that combines its strengths to contribute to a transforming Canada.

This plan describes what the CRA is doing to improve Canadians' service experience, by ensuring that its programs are modern and client-based, and that they meet Canadians' expectations of quality, timeliness and accuracy of information received. The CRA is exploring ways to use emerging technology and better leverage available data to improve service delivery. It will also work with provinces and territories to reduce Canadians' tax compliance burden through simplification of federal and provincial tax forms for individuals and businesses.

To facilitate Canadians' interactions with the CRA, it is focusing on using plain language in all communications, whether digital or paper-based. The goal is to ensure correspondence and other communications are straightforward and easy to read. They will also proactively contact more Canadians who are eligible for, but not receiving, benefits. Finally, it will continue to improve its services to different segments of the population, for example for Indigenous peoples, lower-income Canadians, those on fixed incomes, and seniors.

Canadians can be assured that the CRA is working hard to maintain the fairness of Canada's tax and benefits administration. The CRA will continue to combat tax evasion, aggressive tax avoidance and the underground economy to help ensure a fair tax system and a level playing field for all.

In administering tax and benefits, the CRA collects and stores Canadians' private information. The CRA takes its responsibility to protect this information very seriously, and this plan describes how the CRA will improve the protection of taxpayer information against external and internal threats.

I invite you to read on to find out more about what the CRA is doing to better serve Canadians and protect Canada's tax revenue. As the Minister of National Revenue, I am very proud to present the Canada Revenue Agency’s Corporate Business Plan 2020–21 with perspectives to 2022–23.

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The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, P.C., M.P.
Minister of National Revenue

Foreword by the Chair

On behalf of the Canada Revenue Agency's Board of Management (Board), I am pleased to recommend the Corporate Business Plan 2020–21 with perspectives to 2022–23 to the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue. The Board is responsible for the development of the CRA's annual Corporate Business Plan and the oversight of the CRA's organization and administration, and the management of its resources, services, property, personnel and contracts.

Over the past few years, the CRA has focused on transforming the service it provides to Canadians. The Board understands this change will take time and will require a level of care. As a result, the Board formed a Service Transformation Subcommittee to work with the CRA's Chief Service Officer to assist and guide the organization's service transformation strategy. The Board expects this transformation to ensure every client interacting with the CRA feels respected, heard, and supported.

Good service underpins our objective of voluntary compliance. Most Canadians understand the role and benefits of taxation and we want to ensure a system where all individual Canadians and business owners pay their fair share of taxes and also receive those credits and benefits for which they are eligible. Small and medium businesses are an integral part of the Canadian economy and good client service by the CRA will help those businesses comply with Canada's tax laws, support business growth and generate a strong economy. The Board will continue to exercise its oversight role and provide guidance to the CRA to ensure the realization of measurable results for continued service improvements for Canadians, as part of its service transformation journey.

Service and our people are strategically linked. To provide good service, the CRA will benefit from a workforce that is diverse, well-trained and focused on client service. This is an area where the Board shares a high degree of pride with management. Across the country, from St. John's to Vancouver and now in our northern offices, we have incredible employees who care passionately about the Canadians they serve. We are continually impressed with their passion for their work and their communities. The CRA has received numerous accolades and awards as a workplace of choice and we continue to attract and retain some of the best and brightest across the country.

The Board will work with the CRA to ensure that it has competent, diverse and dynamic leaders who can lead the CRA's workforce into the future. We will continue to support management so that the CRA has a diverse, inclusive, trained and engaged workforce that adapts well to the current and future changing technological environment. The Board will also encourage student recruitment and retention as part of the CRA's succession planning, and will encourage and celebrate social responsibility initiatives at both the regional and national levels.

While service and our people remain a top focus, the Board also prioritizes a number of other strategic objectives, and remains committed to efficiency and effectiveness. Rooted in the five strategic priorities outlined in this plan, these objectives will be the focus of particular attention by the Board over the coming year.

Cybersecurity: Recent cybersecurity incidents around the globe have underscored the importance of continually investing in information technology security to safeguard the information clients entrust to the CRA. We will continue to monitor and work with the CRA to ensure rigorous data security and integrity, including the support provided by Shared Services Canada.

Data: The Board recognizes the wealth of data held by the CRA. We will encourage the CRA to explore new information management and data mining tools to realize the benefits of its immense data bank, and use this data to drive better-informed business decisions. The end result for Canadians will be a more productive, cost efficient, nimble, and service-oriented CRA. Privacy and security of taxpayers' information are of paramount importance to the Board, and we will continue to monitor the CRA's efforts in this area.

Emerging Technology: Another area which will enable a strong service to Canadians over the near and long term is innovation. The Board oversees the CRA's technology roadmap and will continue to push management to explore new business practices, emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and robotic processing, as enablers for achieving strategic priorities and the CRA's vision. Furthermore, we know that these technologies must be closely planned and monitored. We will ensure the CRA incorporates ethical considerations and follows established industry norms and principles when implementing emerging technologies.

Project Management: To ensure effective and efficient resource management, the Board will continue to oversee integrated project planning at the CRA, where every project phase is considered and checks and balances are in place to ensure timely and efficient project delivery, and on budget. The Board will encourage the CRA to further develop its project management capacity, including change management, and will pay particular attention to the benefits realization of the major projects under the Board's oversight.

Governance and risk: This past year, the Board focused on governance renewal, including a review of the Board's performance and identifying efficiencies to ensure its effectiveness. As a result, a number of best practices have been implemented, a plan for continued improvements has been developed, and the CRA was awarded the 2019 Best Overall Corporate Governance by the Governance Professionals of Canada, who acknowledged the Board for its role in recent improvements. A primary responsibility of the Board is policy oversight. The Board reviews policies, including applying a risk lens, to provide direction to the CRA and, where possible, streamline the practices. The Board will continue to oversee and consider risk through timely discussions and consideration of emerging trends as well as focusing on the corporate risk profile.

Although we have many accomplishments to celebrate from the year, we continue to push forward to meet the expectations of Canadians. The Board, working with CRA senior management, will ensure we continue on our service journey and that we continue to strive to be a world-class tax and benefit administration that serves the needs of all clients.

Original signed

Suzanne Gouin
Chair, Board of Management

Message from the Commissioner

I am proud to be the Commissioner of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as it celebrates its twentieth anniversary. Looking back over the more than three years that I have been part of the CRA, I am inspired by how far we have come and how much we have accomplished. This plan outlines the priorities that we will pursue to continue to contribute to the economic and social well-being of Canadians as a world-class tax and benefits administration.

The CRA has adopted a People First philosophy, which places people at the centre of everything that we do. We engage Canadians to understand their needs and expectations, and are using this understanding as the basis for how we design our programs and deliver our services. As much as this philosophy will guide how we interact with Canadians, it will also support CRA managers and employees to strengthen our service culture and ensure a healthy workplace.

Our responsibility is to help people understand and meet their obligations and promote compliance. The onus is on us to communicate clearly, listen attentively, act in a timely manner and provide education and guidance to foster long‑term compliance.

This being said, we will maintain the fairness of Canada's tax and benefits systems, enforcing compliance as necessary. We will apply enforcement tools responsibly and professionally based on the degree of the taxpayer's non-compliance, and resolve situations in a timely manner. The CRA will refine and enhance its data analytics and business intelligence, while making use of better risk assessment and more tailored approaches to address the highest risk areas of non-compliance within Canada and internationally. We will make it easier for people who want to comply and harder for those who do not.

I am deeply committed to open and honest communication—where the CRA is transparent about both its successes and challenges—because it is an important aspect of how we will earn and maintain the trust of Canadians. This trust in the integrity of our administration is the bedrock of Canada's self-assessment tax system. With the fast rate at which technology is advancing, a key concern of Canadians is the constant threat these changes present to the security of information. I want to reassure Canadians that the CRA continues to work diligently to identify these threats and improve our cyber security posture, and prevent and detect fraud and the misuse of information.

More and more, the public expects government institutions to adapt to change quickly and efficiently, often by adopting the latest in technology. We will adopt new approaches, technological tools and processes to take advantage of increasingly sophisticated analytics and respond to evolving client expectations.

The key to success as we carry out our activities is our people. The CRA will focus on maintaining a respectful and healthy workplace. We will draw strength from our diversity and count on leadership that possesses the character needed to achieve our goals. Our commitment to a diverse and high‑performing workforce, supported by productive union-management dialogue, will help us build and maintain a knowledgeable workforce with the agility needed to meet current and future requirements. Our efforts have been recognized, for the third year in a row, with the CRA being named one of Canada Top 100 Employers and one of the Top 100 Employers for Canadians Over 40, and we will work hard to maintain this distinction.

This plan shows how we are building a culture of service excellence. We will tap into employee knowledge and experience to bring innovative, client‑centric approaches to our everyday work.

I am proud of this plan and believe it positions us well for the next three years as we continue to strive to be a world-class tax and benefits administration.

Original signed

Bob Hamilton
Commissioner of the Canada Revenue Agency

CRA at a glance

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* Canada child benefits payment information was transferred to Public Services and Procurement Canada; direct deposits were made, and cheques distributed on time based on the benefit payment schedule.
** 2019 tax-filing season
*** Returns completed by May 15, 2019

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This graphic represents key performance results achieved by the CRA during the 2018-19 fiscal year. In the background is a map of Canada, separated according to the CRA's operational regions, and showing the number of full-time employees (FTEs) working in each region.

Beginning on the West coast, the CRA's Western Region, which includes British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon Territory and the Northwest Territories, is shown in light green, and indicates the total number of FTEs at 10,123.

Next is the Ontario Region, which includes Ontario and Nunavut, shown in light orange and indicating a total number of FTEs at 11,184.

Next is the Quebec Region, shown in darker green and indicating a total number of FTEs at 4,564.

Finally, the Atlantic Region, which includes Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, is shown in purple, indicates the total number of FTEs at 3,817.

At the bottom of the map, near the border of Ontario and Quebec, the total number of FTEs for Headquarters is marked as 11,387.

At the top of the map, to the right, is the total number of FTEs that work for the CRA across the country, at 41,075.

Around the map, clockwise from top left, are a number of key results from the 2018-19 fiscal year:

  • 91.9% of individuals paid their reported taxes on time.
  • 85.7% of corporation income taxes were paid on time.
  • $34.8 billion in benefits issued.
  • 100% of Canada child benefit payments were issued on time. This result has a footnote that reads "Canada child benefit payment information was transferred to Public Services and Procurement Canada; direct deposits were made, and cheques distributed on time based on the benefit payment schedule."
  • 83.3% of the CRA's services are available online.
  • Total administered revenues and pension contributions, over $457 billion.
  • 835,216 returns completed through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program. This result has a footnote that reads "Returns completed by May 15, 2019."
  • $1.9 billion in incremental debt collected as a result of Budget 2016 investments.
  • 91.2% of corporation income tax returns filed digitally.
  • 88.6% of income tax and benefit returns filed digitally. This result has a footnote that reads "2019 tax-filing season."
A mixed group of smiling CRA employees having a discussion in an open boardroom.

Raison d'être, mandate and role

The Minister of National Revenue is responsible for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The raison d'être of the CRA is to administer taxes, benefits, and related programs for governments across Canada. The CRA contributes to the economic and social well-being of Canadians by making sure that:

The CRA's mandate is legislated through acts including the Income Tax Act, the Excise Tax Act and the Excise Act, which the CRA administers. In fulfilling our core responsibilities, our role is to collect taxes on behalf of most provinces and territories, collect certain non-tax debts for the federal government and administer legislation relating to charities, the Canada Pension Plan, other registered plans and the employment insurance program.

Core responsibility: tax

The CRA's core responsibility for tax is to ensure that Canada's self-assessment tax system is sustained by providing clients with the support and information they need to understand and fulfill their tax obligations. The CRA also takes compliance and enforcement actions when necessary to uphold the integrity of the system. When clients disagree with an assessment or decision we have made, we offer avenues for redress.

Activities related to our core responsibility for tax include:

  • informing clients of their rights, responsibilities and entitlements under Canada's tax laws and the Taxpayer Bill of Rights
  • issuing rulings and interpretations to clarify the application of tax law
  • processing and assessing client returns and collecting taxes owing or refunding excess income tax paid
  • doing reviews and audits, applying various penalties, and investigating suspected cases of willful non-compliance for criminal behaviour
  • offering a process for resolving disputes
  • registering businesses, charities and deferred income and savings plans
  • determining insurability and pensionability for employment insurance and the Canada Pension Plan
  • resolving cases of double taxation with tax treaty partners

The CRA administers tax legislation and revenues, including income and sales taxes and employment insurance premiums, as well as amounts, like Canada Pension Plan contributions, for other groups or organizations. We also deliver a number of social benefit programs to Canadians for the federal, provincial and territorial governments, and First Nations and Indigenous self-governments.

The CRA also administers programs that provide billions of dollars in incentives for scientific research and experimental development, film and media production, and other targeted credits and deductions that generate refunds or reduce the amount of tax that clients would otherwise owe. Through these tax incentives, the Government of Canada helps encourage the pursuit of knowledge, ideas and technologies that stimulate economic growth and competitiveness.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars) - Core responsibility: tax
2020–21 Main Estimates 
2020–21 Planned spending 2021–22 Planned spending 2022–23 Planned spending
3,264,289,968
3,264,289,968 3,300,816,836 3,224,454,955
Human resources (full-time equivalents) - Core responsibility: tax
2020–21 Planned full-time equivalents 2021–22 Planned full-time equivalents 2022–23 Planned full-time equivalents
34,319 34,404 33,711

The following indicators are used by the CRA to assess its overall progress toward the achievement of its expected result for its tax core responsibility. For more information on the methodologies used to calculate these indicators, go to GC InfoBase.

Expected result: Canadians voluntarily comply with their tax obligations, non-compliance is addressed, and Canadians have trust in the CRA.

Performance indicator - Core responsibility: tax
Performance indicator Target
Percentage of individual tax returns filed on time
90%
Percentage of businesses registered for GST/HST
Target to be established by December 2020
Percentage of reported tax liabilities paid on time Target to be established by April 2020
Percentage of external service standards targets that are met or mostly metFootnote 1 90%
Public perception index: Service experience
Target to be established by December 2020
Public perception index: Trust
Target to be established by December 2020
Percentage of Canadians who participate in the tax system
Target to be established by April 2020
Ratio of collectible tax debt to total net receipts (cash accounting)
Target to be established by April 2020
Number of individuals helped by the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program
873,000
Incremental revenue resulting from Budget investments $1.7B
Incremental debt collected (resolved) resulting from budget 2016 investments $7.4B by March 2021

Core responsibility: benefits

The CRA's core responsibility for benefits is to ensure that clients obtain the support and information they need to know what benefits they may be eligible to receive, that they receive their benefit payments in a timely manner, and have avenues of redress when they disagree with a decision on their benefit eligibility.

The CRA administers the Canada child benefit, the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax credit, children's special allowances, the disability tax credit, the Canada workers benefit and provincial/territorial programs. The CRA uses its federal tax delivery infrastructure to administer 181 services and ongoing benefits and one-time payment programs on behalf of the provinces and territories. These income-tested benefits and other services contribute directly to the economic and social well‑being of Canadians by supporting families and children.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars) - Core responsibility: benefits Footnote 2
2020–21 Main Estimates 2020–21 Planned spending 2021–22 Planned spending 2022–23 Planned spending
3,929,115,162 3,929,115,162 4,889,329,806 5,559,277,731
Human resources (full-time equivalents) - Core responsibility: benefits
2020–21 Planned full-time equivalents 2021–22 Planned full-time equivalents 2022–23 Planned full-time equivalents
1,433 1,422 1,421

The following indicators are used by the CRA to assess its overall progress toward the achievement of its expected result for its benefits core responsibility. For more information on the methodologies used to calculate these indicators, go to GC InfoBase.

Expected result: Canadians receive their rightful benefits in a timely manner.

Performance indicator - Core responsibility: benefits
Performance indicator Target
Percentage of Canada child benefit (CCB) payments issued to recipients on time
 100%
Percentage of respondents satisfied with overall benefits experience Target to be established by December 2020
Percentage of taxpayers (benefit recipients) who filed a return as a result of targeted CRA intervention
 10%

Internal services

Internal services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal services refer to the activities and resources of ten distinct service categories that support program delivery in the organization, regardless of the internal services model in an agency or department. These services are: acquisition management services, communications services, financial management services, human resources management services, information management services, information technology services, legal services, materiel management services, management and oversight services, and real property management services.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars) - Internal services
2020–21 Main Estimates 2020–21 Planned spending 2021–22 Planned spending 2022–23 Planned spending
742,806,006 742,806,006 750,787,452 744,928,267
Human resources (full-time equivalents) - Internal services
2020–21 Planned full-time equivalents 2021–22 Planned full-time equivalents 2022–23 Planned full-time equivalents
6,005 6,001 5,944

Gender-based Analysis Plus

The CRA, through this plan, supports the Government of Canada's priority to achieve gender equality and inclusive government. The CRA applies the Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) lens by examining policies, programs, initiatives or services at the appropriate development stage for its impacts on diverse groups of women, men and gender diverse people. The "plus" in GBA+ acknowledges that GBA goes beyond biological (sex) and socio‑cultural (gender) differences; GBA+ considers many identity factors, like race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability. The CRA will continue to actively monitor its programs and services throughout their lifecycle to ensure they respond to the diverse needs of Canadians. The CRA reports annually on progress in its Departmental Results Report.

Two smiling CRA employees having a discussion.

Our operating context

The CRA conducts regular environmental scans and maintains a corporate risk profile to identify and manage key challenges and pursue opportunities related to its core responsibilities. The CRA and its Board of Management have identified the following areas as being of particular interest over the planning period.

Designing and delivering people-centred services

The CRA promotes tax compliance and administers benefits through outreach activities, offering general and targeted client assistance, and by educating clients about their obligations and entitlements. Communicating with complete, accurate, clear and timely information helps our clients feel valued, gives them greater confidence in managing their financial affairs, and makes them more likely to comply with Canada's tax laws. The CRA is dedicated to delivering services in ways that meet the needs of its clients.

Protecting the revenue base

Protecting the integrity of Canada's self-assessment system is one of the CRA's fundamental roles. To foster trust and fairness, clients need to feel everyone pays their required share, and the CRA needs to help them meet their obligation to do so. When clients make mistakes or do not have all the information they need to, for example, file an accurate return, the CRA applies the law responsibly, with an emphasis on education and assistance. It is important that clients know that those who choose not to pay the tax they owe will face enforcement action.

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This pullout quote states: "The CRA is dedicated to delivering services in ways that meet the needs of its clients"

Leveraging technology

Technology continues to be a key enabler for service delivery, both internally and externally, making it easier and more convenient for individuals and businesses to interact with the CRA. Advanced data analytics gives the CRA greater insight into client behaviour so that serious non‑compliance and deliberate attempts to evade Canada's tax laws can be more precisely and rapidly targeted. Emerging technologies—such as artificial intelligence and robotic process automation—offer significant potential to evolve the CRA's business model and address some of the expectations of its clients. They also carry risks that our organization must effectively manage.

Managing information and data

Information is the basis by which all CRA decisions are made. Underpinning these decisions are the data that we create, collect, send, receive and capture. The strategic management, use and governance of these data is critical to data-driven decision‑making and to helping the CRA tailor its services and activities to its clients.

The growth in the volume of structured and unstructured data in digital form presents ongoing challenges. The CRA must continue to ensure its authenticity, accuracy, integrity, and completeness. This also supports the CRA's contribution to the federal Open Government initiative, which provides easy and consistent access to aggregated CRA information and data in open, standardized, digital formats.

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This pullout quote states: "The strategic management, use and governance of data is helping the CRA tailor its services and activities to its clients.

Protecting privacy

The CRA has an obligation to prevent and detect any unauthorized access or disclosure of information about its clients and employees, government property or valuables, and any taxpayer property that is in our possession or control. Clients want assurance that the CRA handles data with the utmost security and respect for privacy. This is a challenge with cyber threats that continue to increase in number and complexity; a cyber attack can temporarily disrupt the availability of the CRA's services and place at risk the security of personal information that clients have submitted to the CRA. The CRA takes its responsibilities very seriously, continuously enhancing its electronic and physical security controls, and managing a wide range of security risks in a fast‑changing environment while furthering our organization's service transformation agenda.

Building and maintaining an effective workforce

The CRA continues to build and maintain an effective workforce of agile thinkers, decision-makers and problem solvers. We are looking to hire the right people, and to equip all our employees with the modern tools and training that they need when they need it. This will ensure that we have the specialized skill sets to support client-centred service in both official languages, the optimal use of technology, and targeted data analysis.

A healthy workforce and workplace are critical to the accomplishment of organizational goals. For this reason, the CRA is committed to employee well‑being in an environment where staff is free from harassment and discrimination. The CRA also strives to achieve strength through social and cultural diversity within our workforce by actively recruiting with a view to reflect the society that it serves.

A mixed group of four employees seated watching attentively as a fifth employee writing on a whiteboard.

Priorities

The Board of Management and the CRA have identified the following five priorities to guide the delivery of the CRA's core responsibilities during the period covered by this plan and to help ensure that the CRA remains a world-class tax and benefits administration:

  • Providing a seamless service experience
  • Maintaining fairness in Canada's tax and benefits administration
  • Strengthening trust, transparency and accountability
  • Enabling innovation
  • Empowering our people to excel

The CRA's priorities guide the realization of its mandate and delivery of its core responsibilities for tax and benefits.

We approach our administrative responsibilities with the underlying premise that most people are honest and—given the opportunity and the right services—will comply with the law. All the services and activities the CRA carries out fall along a continuum that runs from facilitating and promoting continued compliance to enforcing compliance through a series of checks and balances, verifications and audits, and criminal investigations. We do this to ensure that the law has been respected, so that Canadians continue to benefit from the programs that contribute to their economic and social well‑being. Clients who do not agree with our decisions can seek redress through our dispute resolution process, and through Canada's courts.

The first priority we discuss, Providing a seamless service experience, sets out the steps we are taking to improve how we promote and facilitate compliance. For those who intentionally seek to avoid meeting their tax obligations, we must take responsible enforcement action in support of our second priority, Maintaining fairness in Canada's tax and benefits administration.

The Board of Management will oversee the management of the agency's resources, services, property, personnel and contracts to deliver on these priorities.

The remaining three priorities make critical contributions to enabling our success in achieving our mandate to make sure clients pay their fair share of taxes and receive their rightful share of benefits. Strengthening trust, transparency and accountability will allow us to maintain the public's trust, increase client satisfaction and positively influence overall voluntary compliance rates. Through Enabling innovation, the CRA will change and adapt to find efficiencies in the design and delivery of services our clients need, as well as explore the use of new tools to maintain fairness. None of this is possible, of course, without the contribution of our employees, which is why the CRA is working towards Empowering our people to excel.

A female employee of the CRA, laughing with her colleague, seen in the foreground.

Providing a seamless service experience

As described in last year's Corporate Business Plan, the CRA has embarked on a journey to transform the way it designs and delivers its programs and services using a client-centric approach. Our ultimate goal is that regardless of the channel used to interact with the CRA, clients will have a seamless service experience and access to easy-to-understand information they need to comply and receive benefits for which they are eligible. It also means that CRA employees are service-oriented, so they understand and consider the diverse needs and circumstances of our clients when providing information or making a decision. While we have made progress in this area, as described in the CRA's 2018–19 Departmental Results Report, we continue to explore ways to make further improvements.

We will look at how to better use technology and business innovations to proactively ensure compliance and shift some of the administrative burden away from our clients. This involves adopting a client-centric approach to designing and delivering our internal and external programs and services, and fostering a culture of service with all employees.

Our journey to transform our programs and services began with extensive consultations with CRA employees and our clients on how we can serve them better. In particular, we gathered online and face‑to‑face feedback from individuals about the programs and services we offer, through the Serving Canadians Better consultations. These sessions made it clear that, while we are on the right track, there is more work to do.

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This pullout quote states: "The CRA has embarked on a journey to transform the way it designs and delivers its programs and services using a client-centric approach."

One of the ways that we can continue to improve is to make our services easier to use by gaining a better understanding of the experiences of those we serve. This means understanding clients' needs, expectations, and preferred methods of interaction and working with them to design our programs and services to meet their needs. Our intent is to respond to the feedback we received by further enhancing our digital services, strengthening our communication and website, and clarifying available payment options for clients. We will look to improve their end-to-end experience in ways that meet their needs.

We also consulted with small and medium enterprises and their representatives. On June 10, 2019, we released the report on the CRA's 2018 Serving You Better Consultations with Small and Medium Businesses. This report sets out improvements that the CRA will put in place by 2021, in response to this feedback.

One year into our journey, we believe we are well on our way to building a consistently excellent client experience. We have taken important foundational steps inside our organization by:

Built on the commitments set out in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, our new service identity sets the foundation for transforming the CRA, one that is strongly supported by our employees. Developed with the input of our employees, our transformation objective is to place people at the centre of everything we do, with a view to increasing trust in the CRA and fostering sustainable compliance with Canada's tax and benefits legislation. Some of these improvements require major changes to our systems and the way we operate; we will make them over time, ensuring proper pacing, appropriate use of our resources, and maintaining ongoing operations.

Consultations revealed clients appreciate improvements we have made to the process of filing returns and the support provided to clients through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program, our use of the latest technologies, making information easier to understand and making services more accessible and personalized.

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This image shows three generic figures representing our diverse client base. There two larger figures, meant to represent adults, and smaller figure meant to represent a child. Directly above them is the CRA's service identity, which reads "Being helpful and fair builds trust and contributes to the ongoing economic and social well-being of Canada." To the right of this image are the three main components of this service identity, and the actions, in bullet form, that the CRA has committed to making a reality. The first component is "Respectful" and the actions below it are "Listen actively" "Be courteous and professional" "Understand and respond with good judgement to people's unique situations" and "Embrace diversity and inclusion." The second component is "Helpful" and the actions below it are "Collaborate" "Educate and raise awareness" "Give accurate and timely information" and "Explain decisions and address concerns." The third component is "Doing it right" and the actions below it are "Presume good intentions" "Make it easy to comply" "Tailor our actions based on the degree of non-compliance" and "Resolve issues in a timely manner."

Our objectives

It is our overarching objective to ensure that all of our interactions with our clients consider their needs and expectations, making them feel valued and understood.

For example, vulnerable populations, such as modest-income households, Indigenous peoples, seniors, newcomers to Canada, and persons with disabilities may face barriers when it comes to filing their income tax and benefit returns and getting the benefits and credits for which they are eligible.

We want clients to have easy access to clear, accurate, consistent and timely information. We also want them to easily understand their obligations to make it easier for them to comply.

Over the planning period, our objectives for providing a seamless service experience are to:

The CRA is exploring new ways of consulting clients and making sure we deliver services and programs the way they expect.

Providing our clients with access to easy‑to‑understand information

As part of our commitment to responding to client requests for new and easy-to-understand information, we will improve our communications as well as our program design and service delivery to better serve clients, maintaining their trust and increasing their levels of satisfaction. Over the planning period, the CRA will continue to:

Our commitments:

  • May 2020 – enable clients to view more of their tax information on the My Business Account online portal by:
    • increasing by two years the breadth of the information displayed, to seven years
    • enhancing our "View expected and filed returns" and "View rebate status" services to display details regardless of the document's status
  • May 2020 – reduce the potential risk of interruptions to clients' benefits payments and credits by updating CRA letters and envelopes to highlight the need for clients' action

A recent public opinion survey revealed that clients find CRA correspondence envelopes difficult to distinguish from other generic correspondence. They suggested we add colour stamps to envelopes to differentiate them from other non-CRA correspondence.

Interactions are integrated, tailored, digital‑first and accessible

As we transform our program design and service delivery using a client-centric approach, we will enhance and integrate all of our service channels. In addition, we will:

Our commitments:

Reducing the compliance burden of our clients

To begin reducing the compliance burden of our clients, we will undertake the following activities:

Our commitments:

  • March 2021 – get clients' (payers and recipients) perspectives through public opinion research and stakeholder consultations to better understand the challenges they experience when they report fees‑for-services
  • March 2021 – launch initiatives to improve employers' understanding of their remitting and reporting obligations

With CRA's modernized technology, we can verify tax and benefit returns against information slips filed by third parties (like T4 slips from employers), reducing the number of reassessments that would be issued many months later.

A smiling female employee speaking to a colleague located in the foreground.

Maintaining fairness in Canada's tax and benefits administration

The CRA seeks to apply relevant laws equitably to maintain both the fairness of how we administer Canada's tax and benefits system and our clients' perception of our fairness. To do so, we strive to identify and address intentional non-compliance to ensure that all clients are paying their share.

We will continue to use various data sources and analytical approaches to maximize our ability to detect and deter the most serious instances of non-compliance, taking responsible compliance actions where necessary.

Non-compliance takes many forms: it may be the result of errors, a misunderstanding of rules or a lack of appropriate information. In some cases, a client may choose not to comply. Identifying and addressing non-compliance is a large part of what the CRA does. This supports revenue collection, but also promotes fairness in the tax and benefits administration system by ensuring that all clients are paying their required share of taxes.

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This pullout quote states: "We will continue to use various data sources and analytical approaches to maximize our ability to detect and deter the most serious instances of non-compliance."

The CRA adapts its compliance approach depending on the type of non-compliance. The strong legislative foundation that underpins the administration of Canada's tax laws promotes compliant behaviour. We do this through reviews, outreach and education, sanctions and penalties for non-compliance and tools such as requirements for employers to report earnings and withhold source deductions. We also pay particular attention to multinational enterprises and high-net-worth individuals; more than a third of our audit resources are dedicated to the large business and high-net-worth population. The CRA automatically risk assesses 100% of tax returns filed by large businesses every year, as they are deemed to be of highest risk. The most egregious cases of wilful non-compliance are referred to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada to be considered for criminal prosecution. Once an assessment or reassessment is confirmed (that is, it is not subject to dispute), the CRA takes steps to ensure clients pay the amounts owed. Where clients may not be able to meet their tax obligations because of personal misfortune or circumstances beyond their control, the CRA's relief provisions allow the Minister to exercise her discretion to help by, for example, cancelling or waiving penalties and interest that would otherwise be due.

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This pullout quote states: "When undertaking interventions to address non-compliance, the CRA strives to maintain a client-centric approach. This means that we adapt our intervention to the circumstances, while remaining professional, transparent and honest in how we treat the client."

When undertaking interventions to address non-compliance, the CRA strives to maintain a client-centric approach. This means that we adapt our intervention to the circumstances, while remaining professional, transparent and honest in how we treat the client. In addition, we ensure our decisions are timely and that the outcomes of our actions respect the legislation and applicable policy. The CRA is committed to treating all clients with respect, regardless of the extent of the non-compliance that we have identified. We strive to ensure that non‑compliance is detected and addressed, using sound risk management to guide our reviews, audits, criminal investigations, and debt collection, along with education and outreach.

Our objectives

The CRA works hard to understand client behaviour and identify areas of economic activity that are at highest risk of non-compliance. The CRA has expanded its tools and capacity to target clients who attempt to conceal their assets to avoid paying their share of tax, thanks to a combined investment of over $1 billion in the 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 budgets. These investments support the CRA's efforts to combat aggressive tax avoidance and tax evasion and improve tax compliance. By leveraging business intelligence and analyzing available data, the CRA regularly monitors tax compliance in Canada's real estate sector, with a significant focus on major centers such as the Greater Toronto Area and the Lower Mainland in British Columbia. We have also established new real estate audit teams in the high-risk regions of British Columbia and Ontario dedicated to addressing non-compliance in the real estate sector. In addition, we have hired additional auditors, conducted outreach and education, and built technical expertise to target non‑compliance associated with cryptocurrency transactions and the digital economy.

Engaging with our global partners is instrumental in maintaining fairness. We participate in various international forums to examine how other tax administrations assess risk to their revenue bases, and identify areas of common concern across jurisdictions.

Over the planning period, we will focus on:

Enhancing our ability to detect significant non-compliance

Wilful acts of non-compliance, such as failing to comply with tax obligations related to registering, filing and reporting, tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance, can place the integrity of Canada's tax system at risk. Anti-avoidance rules and tax loopholes are systematically reviewed to ensure that the wealthy do not benefit from unfair tax breaks and that international corporations pay taxes in accordance with Canada's tax laws. To enhance our ability to detect tax evasion and avoidance, the CRA will continue to:

Our commitments:

Strengthening trust, transparency and accountability

Todays' global economy requires intensified international co-operation and greater integration among revenue administrations around the world, including transparent systems and information-sharing across borders. International engagement helps ensure the integrity and fairness of Canada's tax system and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its administration. In the context of the global economy, effective and fair tax administration is best achieved when countries collaborate so those who seek to avoid or evade their obligations have fewer opportunities to do so. We will continue to:

Our commitments:

Improving how we manage tax debt

The CRA collects tax debts, as well as other types of government debt, assessed through federal, provincial and territorial laws. Collecting outstanding tax owing and other debts is critical to protecting Canada's tax base and providing governments across Canada with the revenue needed to support programs and priorities. We will continue to:

Our commitments:

A female employee standing in front of a whiteboard, facilitating a discussion with three colleagues see in the foreground.

Strengthening trust, transparency and accountability

Underlying our administration of Canada's tax and benefits system is trust that the CRA is fair in its dealings with all its clients. The CRA fosters trust by being transparent and accountable, making more information available for public awareness and use.

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This pullout quote states: "The CRA takes its responsibility to maintain clients' trust very seriously"

A key component of this trust is confidence that client information must always be protected, as it has the potential to directly influence compliance rates. To meet their tax obligations and receive any benefits for which they are eligible, our clients must give us personal and financial information. The CRA has an excellent reputation for safeguarding this information; however, we are operating in a public environment that is increasingly concerned about the potential for data breaches and identity theft. This is why we continue to make investments in security and to evolve our IT security strategy in order to protect CRA data, information assets, and IT infrastructure from increasingly sophisticated cybersecurity threats.

These investments will strengthen our operational efficiencies, our agility to provide new digital services more frequently, and our ability to adopt new technologies earlier. They will also increase client satisfaction with CRA services by providing more ways for clients and partnering government departments to interact with us, and by enhancing the digital services we offer.

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This pullout quote states: "We are committed to being clear and transparent when reporting to our clients about the performance results that we have achieved."

Protecting privacy and confidentiality rights is central to the CRA's integrity. The protection of our clients' privacy is managed through:

We strive to be open in the way we manage our day-to-day operations and to achieve results that demonstrate quality, efficiency and effectiveness. We are committed to being clear and transparent when reporting to our clients about the performance results that we have achieved, and in our contribution to the Open Government initiative. We also believe that conducting our activities sustainably reinforces our clients' trust that we are using our resources efficiently and responsibly.

Our objectives

The CRA operates under a rigorous and ever-improving system of tools, technologies and processes. We are committed to supporting the integrity of employees and monitoring access to our network to protect the security of both people and information. For this reason, we continue to improve our information and data security practices to protect CRA's data repositories and expand our safeguards against data loss.

Our clients want the CRA to be more up-front about how we collect and use personal information, and they want more transparency in their dealings with government. Privacy and security are critical aspects of our business, from fostering a culture of integrity to preventing, monitoring, detecting, and managing any potential incidents.

Over the planning period, we will focus on:

Strengthening our security posture

We are committed to protect and handle the personal and financial information of our clients in a secure and responsible manner. Given the rate at which technology advances, the CRA is continually modernizing security safeguards. To strengthen our security posture over the planning period, we will undertake the following activities:

Our commitments:

Proactively responding to clients' privacy concerns

The trust our clients place in the CRA to safeguard the privacy of their personal information is a cornerstone of our work. We will continue to respond to clients' privacy concerns and to a changing landscape of increasingly frequent and prevalent data breaches and scams.

To continue to be proactive in how we respond to clients' privacy expectations, we will:

Our commitments:

Increasing transparency

Canada is a member of the multilateral Open Government Partnership which has over 70 participating countries committed to making their governments more open, accountable and responsive to citizens. Open government connects people to the governments which serve them, and helps make policies and services more citizen centred. To support this endeavour, the CRA contributes to the federal Open Government initiative, proactively releasing data and information, except that which must be withheld for privacy, confidentiality and security reasons.

To demonstrate our commitment to provide effective service to clients and to improve our transparency and accountability, we continue to:

Our commitments:

Promoting sustainable development

Part of our accountability to clients is carrying out our tasks in a sustainable manner. As an employer of more than 46,000 people, we recognize the impact we have in the communities in which our employees live and work. We are committed to continuing to:

Our commitments:

An older male employee taking notes during a discussion with three colleagues.

Enabling innovation

Innovation is the positive change that is required to adapt to current challenges and changing circumstances. The CRA will continue to maintain and encourage a culture of innovation in the workplace. The success we achieve in innovating depends on empowering our employees to make continuous improvements, using processes like LEAN, a set of principles that, among other things, helps identify improvements by looking at processes from the client's perspective. We want our employees to take ownership of their work, try different things, take intelligent risks, and experiment with new ideas.

Our clients expect the CRA to change and adapt to deliver the services they need, when and where they need them, and how they like to use them. Changing the way we operate requires us to shift our focus from the rigid following of administrative procedures and rules, towards problem-solving. Although innovation can be disruptive and challenging, it is an essential means for the CRA to meet clients' expectations, remain efficient and seek ways to apply new technologies.

Our objectives

The CRA recognizes the importance of innovation to deliver our mandate. As we continue to advance innovative efforts across the organization, we are challenging ourselves to look beyond established business practices and familiar mindsets. The CRA is promoting the conditions for innovation so employees at all levels think critically about how they do their work, collaborate, network and experiment with new ideas.

Over the planning period, we will:

Foster innovative mindsets and approaches

Aligned with the Government of Canada's Beyond2020 public service renewal initiative, the CRA recognizes that the mindsets and behaviours of its employees are crucial to drive innovation and affect sustainable change. This change goes beyond modifying policies, procedures, and structures. It represents a change in culture and behaviours. Recognizing this, the CRA is exploring new ways to:

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This pullout quote states: "Our clients expect the CRA to change and adapt to deliver the services they need, when and where they need them, and how they like to use them."

Enhance our operations through continuous improvement

The CRA values the small innovations occurring every day throughout the organization. We understand that small innovations can create a large impact. To foster a culture of continuous improvement, the CRA will:

Our commitments:

Explore innovative technologies and analytical methods

A great resource of this century is information. As the volume of data held by the CRA continues to grow, it is important for the CRA to further use its data holdings to achieve better outcomes for clients.

We will continue to invest in leading‑edge information technologies. This will strengthen our operational capabilities, including our agility in providing new services more frequently and adopting new technologies earlier, with the purpose of providing clients with a seamless digital service experience. We will undertake the following activities over the planning period:

Our commitments:

Two female colleagues looking at some documents together.

Empowering our people to excel

The CRA's people vision is to sustain "a thriving workforce, combining strengths, and contributing to a transforming Canada". Our service journey requires us to foster a culture of service where everyone understands the importance of putting people first. The CRA aims to become a more agile learning organization, one whose employees are empowered to respond to the challenges, risks and opportunities that arise from the constantly evolving environment in which we operate.

The CRA's client-centric approach applies not only to our external clients, but also to how we work internally, being respectful and professional in the actions we take. We are committed to ingraining this approach in the CRA's organizational culture. To achieve this, we must support employees with the awareness, tools, training and leadership to put people first and deliver excellent service, both internally and externally.

These employees will then be equipped to become a thriving workforce that combines strengths and contributes to a transforming Canada. It will have the means to be healthy, agile, innovative, and learning—and always ready to take on new challenges. Combining strengths means bringing the right people together with the right combination of skills to deliver the best possible outcomes. As an organization of the federal public service, the CRA can never lose sight of its fundamental obligation: to deliver results for Canadians.

A thriving workforce, combining strengths and contributing to a transforming Canada

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This pullout quote states: "For our organization to continue to be successful, we must continue to recruit the talent we need, especially in high demand specialties like data scientists, business analysts, forensic accountants, and project managers."

To best serve our clients, the CRA must strengthen and maintain a healthy, engaged and productive workforce. The CRA continues to invest in a modern workplace that promotes engagement, learning, collaboration, information sharing and increased productivity. We are committed to fostering, supporting and developing leaders who empower and inspire their employees to be engaged in their work, innovate and share ideas. We do this through initiatives like character‑based leadership, which we look to expand.

Our objectives

The CRA's employees at all levels should possess a character that exemplifies our organizational values and desired service culture. To address existing and emerging workforce needs, we are taking a proactive approach to acquiring talent.

A major transformation initiative that the CRA has undertaken is staffing redesign, which seeks to renew how our organization manages all aspects of staffing while keeping the needs of the client (the candidate for a job) at the centre of the process. We are working to both implement improved processes and experiment with new models to support the CRA's capacity to be agile and flexible in meeting its operational needs. Our goals include reducing the time to staff and enhancing the candidate's experience with the process.

This will better position the CRA in an increasingly competitive labour market. For our organization to continue to be successful, we must continue to recruit the talent we need, especially in high demand specialties like data scientists, business analysts, forensic accountants, and project managers.

We are also committed to fostering a culture of lear ning where employees have access to learning solutions to support them in maintaining and acquiring the skills and competencies to support them in their career development and the CRA in its transformation.

Employees are more likely to feel empowered to participate in this transformation if we provide them with a healthy workplace that minimizes harassment, discrimination and the potential for workplace violence. This means fostering safe, respectful and inclusive spaces, where employees can reach their full potential.

Our focus over the planning period will be on:

Addressing current and future workforce transformation needs

At the CRA, we are committed to strengthening our service culture, which begins with trust and engagement between leaders and employees. The workplace of the future requires that we:

Our commitments:

Supporting respect, well-being, diversity and inclusion

A healthy and empowering work environment fosters a productive and high performing workforce. We are dedicated to creating healthy workplaces by:

Our commitments:

Spending and human resources

Spending trend (dollars)Footnote 3 

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Spending trend (dollars)
  Actual Actual Forecast Planned Planned Planned
  2017–18
2018–19 2019–20 2020–21  2021–22 2022–23
Statutory
941,296,937
1,643,402,290 3,401,096,852 4,392,185,769 5,373,767,748 6,036,533,105
Voted 3,766,470,408
3,477,710,768 3,834,709,824 3,547,805,424 3,570,788,585 3,495,746,791
Total 4,707,767,345
5,121,113,058 7,235,806,676 7,939,991,193 8,944,556,333 9,532,279,896
Budgetary planning summary (dollars)
Core responsibilities and internal services 2017–18 Expenditures 2018–19 Expenditures 2019–20 Forecast 2020–21 Main Estimates 2020–21 Planned 2021–22 Planned 2022–23 Planned
Tax
3,145,344,608 2,959,502,477 3,333,032,239 3,264,289,968 3,264,289,968 3,300,816,836 3,224,454,955
BenefitsFootnote 4
479,298,608 1,128,379,061 2,901,157,550 3,929,115,162 3,929,115,162 4,889,329,806 5,559,277,731
Taxpayers' OmbudsmanFootnote 5 3,210,404
3,097,900 3,473,070 3,780,057 3,780,057 3,622,239 3,618,943
Internal services 1,079,913,725 1,030,133,620 998,143,817 742,806,006 742,806,006 750,787,452 744,928,267
Total Canada Revenue Agency 4,707,767,345    5,121,113,058 7,235,806,676 7,939,991,193 7,939,991,193 8,944,556,333 9,532,279,896

The majority of the increase in the CRA's overall budget is attributable to its statutory appropriations which include spending associated with the climate action incentive (CAI) payment for fiscal years 2018–19 to 2022–23 (actual spending: $663.8 million in 2018–19; forecast and planned spending: $2.400 billion in 2019–20, $3.405 billion in 2020–21, $4.385 billion in 2021–22, and $5.055 billion in 2022–23). The CRA is responsible for the administration of the fuel charge in jurisdictions that do not meet the federal carbon pricing benchmark. This includes the delivery of the CAI payment which returns the majority of the direct proceeds from the fuel charge to individuals and families of the province in which the proceeds are raised.

Actual and forecast spending under the CRA's voted appropriations for fiscal years 2017–18 to 2019–20 also includes technical adjustments such as the CRA's carry-forward from the previous year and funding for severance payments, parental benefits, and vacation credits. In 2017–18, a significant portion of the increase in spending is associated with the cash out of severance benefits for employees represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada, Union of Taxation Employees. In 2019–20 the increase in forecast spending is largely attributable to the aforementioned carry-forward as well to new funding to implement and administer measures announced in the Budget 2019 and growth in funding for federal budget and policy measures announced in prior years.

Over the planning period, the CRA's voted appropriations show a slight reduction, from $3.548 billion in 2020–21 to $3.496 billion in 2022–23. This is primarily as a result of a net decrease in funding received to implement and administer various measures announced in the federal budgets as well as for the federal carbon pollution pricing system and the taxation regime for cannabis. These reductions are partially offset by increases associated with collective bargaining adjustments.

Budgetary planning summary (dollars)

The following table reconciles gross planned spending with net planned spending for 2020–21.

Budgetary planning summary (dollars) - gross planned spending reconciled with net planned spending for 2020–21
Core responsibilities and internal services 2020–21 Planned gross spending 2020–21 Planned revenues netted against expenditures 2020–21 Planned net spending
Tax
3,572,773,018
308,483,050 3,264,289,968
Benefits 3,929,937,267
822,105 3,929,115,162
Taxpayers' OmbudsmanFootnote 6 3,780,057
3,780,057
Internal services 824,198,870
81,392,864 742,806,006
Total Canada Revenue Agency 8,330,689,212
390,698,019 7,939,991,193

Planned revenues netted against expenditures represent amounts to be recovered by the CRA for the provision of services to Employment and Social Development Canada for the administration of the Canada Pension Plan and the Employment Insurance Act.

Planned human resources (FTEs)
Core responsibilities and internal services 2017–18 actual 2018–19 actual 2019–20 forecastFootnote 7
2020–21 planned 2021–22 planned 2022–23 planned
Tax
30,399 31,789 34,145 34,319 34,404 33,711
Benefits
1,253
1,135 1,631 1,433 1,422 1,421
Taxpayers' OmbudsmanFootnote 8
25 29 31 33 32 32
Internal services
8,088
8,122 6,563 6,005 6,001 5,944
Total Canada Revenue Agency
39,765
41,075 42,370 41,790 41,859 41,108

The increase in forecast FTEs in 2019–20 is largely attributable to new funding received to implement and administer measures announced in the Budget 2019 as well as growth in funding for federal budget and policy measures announced in prior years, including the federal carbon pollution pricing system. The 2019–20 fiscal year also reflects an increase in FTEs associated with funding to address operational priorities. The decrease in internal services FTEs is largely due to the attribution of direct internal service costs to the programs starting in 2019–20 (primarily within the tax core responsibility).

Over the planning period, the reduction in FTEs from 41,790 in 2020–21 to 41,108 in 2022–23, is primarily the result of a decrease in funding for the federal carbon pollution pricing system and the taxation regime for cannabis.

Condensed Future‑Oriented Statement of Operations table (dollars)
Financial information
2019–20 Estimated results 2020–21 Planned results
Difference (planned results minus estimated results)
Total expenses
5,452,384,503 5,633,291,985 180,907,482
Total non-tax revenues 567,533,586 564,858,471 (2,675,115)
Net cost of operations
4,884,850,917 5,068,433,514 183,582,597

The Condensed Future Oriented Statement of Operations provides a general overview of the CRA's operations. The forecast of financial information on expenses and revenues is prepared on an accrual accounting basis to strengthen accountability and to improve transparency and financial management. The estimated and planned spending amounts presented in other sections are prepared on an expenditure basis; as a result, amounts may differ. A more detailed Future Oriented Statement of Operations and associated notes, including a reconciliation of the net cost of operations to the requested Parliamentary appropriations, are available in the CRA's Departmental Plan.

Supplementary information

Corporate information

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An organizational chart depicting the Minister, Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, Taxpayers' Ombudsman, Chair, Board of Management, Headquarters Programs, Regions, Internal Services


Head office

Connaught building
555 MacKenzie Avenue
Ottawa ON K1A 0L5

Telephone: 613-957-3688
Fax: 613-952-1547
Website

For more information about the CRA and its governance, visit Canada.ca.


Organizational profile

Minister
The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, P.C., M.P.

Ministerial profile
National Revenue

Institutional head
Bob Hamilton

Enabling instrument
Canada Revenue Agency Act

Chair, Board of Management
Suzanne Gouin

Year of commencement
1999


The Canada Revenue Agency Act sets out the mandate, structure and authorities of the CRA. It establishes a governance structure for the Agency that is unique in Canada, comprising a Minister, a Board of Management (the Board), a Commissioner, and a Taxpayers' Ombudsman. The Minister is responsible to Parliament for all CRA activities and exercises powers relating to regulation‑making and providing reports to Parliament or the Governor in Council (Cabinet). The Board is responsible for overseeing the organization and administration of the CRA and the management of its resources, services, property, personnel and contracts. It is also responsible for the development of the Corporate Business Plan. The CRA is headed by a Commissioner who is accountable to the Minister and must assist and advise him or her with respect to legislated authorities, duties, functions, and Cabinet responsibilities. As the CRA's chief executive officer, the Commissioner is responsible for the day‑to‑day management of the CRA. The mandate of the Ombudsman is to enhance the Canada Revenue Agency's accountability in its services to taxpayers by offering a service complaint mechanism that is independent of the CRA. The Ombudsman is responsible for upholding the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

Reporting framework and planned resultsFootnote 9

The following indicators are used by the CRA to assess its overall progress toward the achievement of its expected result for its core responsibilities. For more information on the methodologies used to calculate these indicators, go to GC InfoBase.

Results shown in dark-shaded cells are results that can be compared to previous year results, as there is no change to the indicator or the methodology used to calculate it. Results shown in light-shaded cells are results for which the indicator or methodology has changed, therefore prior year results are not comparable.

Expected result and program inventory

Canadians voluntarily comply with their tax obligations, non‑compliance is addressed, and Canadians have trust in the CRA

Program inventory:

Reporting framework and planned results
Performance indicator 2020–21 target 2018–19 result 2017–18 result 2016–17 result
Percentage of individual tax returns filed on time
90% 91% 91%  91%
Percentage of businesses registered for GST/HSTFootnote 10 Target to be established by December 2020
95% 94.9% 94.9%
Percentage of reported tax liabilities paid on timeFootnote 11 Target to be established by April 2020
91.9%Footnote 12
85.7%Footnote 13
92.4%Footnote 12
88.8%Footnote 13
93.1%Footnote 12
84.4%Footnote 13
Percentage of external service standards targets that are met or mostly metFootnote 14
90%
83% 80% 85%
Public perception index: Service experienceFootnote 15 Target to be established by December 2020
6.85 (increase) 6.28 (decrease) 6.73 (increase)
Public perception index: TrustFootnote 16
Target to be established by December 2020
n/a n/a n/a
Percentage of Canadians who participate in the tax systemFootnote 17 Target to be established by April 2020 n/a n/a n/a
Ratio of collectible tax debt to total net receipts (cash accounting)Footnote 18
Target to be established by April 2020 n/a n/a n/a
Number of individuals helped by the Community Volunteer Income Tax ProgramFootnote 19
873,000
835,216 786,606 768,349
Incremental revenue resulting from budget investments $1.7B
$1.99B $1.6B n/aFootnote 20
Incremental debt collected (resolved) resulting from Budget 2016 investments
$7.4B by March 2021
$1.9B $1.1B $0.47B

Expected result and program inventory

Canadians receive their rightful benefits in a timely manner

Program inventory:

Reporting framework and planned results
Performance indicator 2020–21
target
2018–19 result 2017–18 result 2016–17 result
Percentage of Canada child benefit (CCB) payments issued to recipients on time 100%  100%Footnote 21 100%Footnote 21 99.99%
Percentage of respondents satisfied with overall benefits experienceFootnote 22 Target to be established by December 2020 84% n/aFootnote 23 n/aFootnote 24
Percentage of taxpayers (benefit recipients) who filed a return as a result of targeted CRA intervention 10% 7.9% 8.1% n/aFootnote 20

CRA staffing principles

Staffing principles related to a successful staffing program
Adaptability
Staffing is flexible and responsive to the changing circumstances and to the unique or special needs of the organization.
Efficiency
Staffing is planned and carried out taking into consideration time and cost, and it is linked to business requirements.
Fairness
Staffing is equitable, just and objective.
Productiveness Staffing results in the required number of competent people being appointed to conduct the CRA’s business.
Transparency
Communications about staffing are open, honest, respectful, timely and easy to understand.
Staffing principles related to an effective workforce
Competency
The workforce possesses the attributes required for effective job performance.
Non-partisanship
The workforce and staffing decisions must be free from political and bureaucratic influence.
Representativeness
The composition of our workforce reflects the labour market availability of employment equity designated groups.

Taxpayer Bill of Rights

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A description of the rights Canadian taxpayers have under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

The title of the image is Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

On the left-hand side of the image are the words, from top to bottom, You Have The Right To. Sixteen parallel horizontal lines lead from those words to a list of the sixteen rights that Canadian taxpayers have. Those rights, on the right-hand side of the page, are listed, from top to bottom, as follows:

  • receive entitlements and to pay no more and no less than what is required by law
  • service in both official languages
  • privacy and confidentiality
  • a formal review and a subsequent appeal

        ★ be treated professionally, courteously, and fairly
        ★ complete, accurate, clear, and timely information

  • unless otherwise provided by law, not to pay income tax amounts in dispute before you have had an impartial review
  • have the law applied consistently
  • lodge a service complaint and to be provided with an explanation of our findings

        ★ have the costs of compliance taken into account when administering tax legislation
        ★ expect us to be accountable

  • relief from penalties and interest under tax legislation because of extraordinary circumstances

        ★ expect us to publish our service standards and report annually
        ★ expect us to warn you about questionable tax schemes in a timely manner
        ★ be represented by a person of your choice

  • lodge a service complaint and request a formal review without fear of reprisal

★ These rights are under the mandate of the Taxpayers' Ombudsman  

Below the description of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights is a title that says Commitment to Small Business

Underneath this title is a statement that reads The Canada Revenue Agency is committed to

Below this statement there are five lines that lead downward to text explaining what the Canada Revenue Agency is committed to.

Reading from left to right the individual texts state the following:

  • administering the tax system in a way that minimizes the costs of compliance for small businesses
  • working with all governments to streamline service, minimize cost, and reduce the compliance burden
  • providing service offerings that meet the needs of small businesses
  • conducting outreach activities that help small businesses comply with the legislation we administer
  • explaining how we conduct our business with small businesses

Links

Estimates by vote: For information on the CRA's organizational appropriations, consult the 2019–20 Main Estimates.

Detailed future oriented statement of operations and associated notes, including a reconciliation of the net cost of operations to the requested authorities, are available on the CRA's departmental webpage.

Supporting information on planned expenditures, human resources, and results related to the CRA's Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

The following supplementary information tables are available on the CRA's Departmental Plan webpage.

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